The Movie Blog: Uncut – April 4th 2008

Hey there folks. Welcome to this week’s installment of The Movie Blog Uncut Friday edition. Today I’m joined by two very special (and much better looking than me) guests as Sharon DeWitt returns to The Movie Blog Uncut and Ashley Oxford, who has been co-hosting with us on the Uncut LIVE show now makes her regular Uncut debut. I think this is the most estrogen we’ve ever had on one episode!

At any rate, take some time to download or stream this installment of Uncut as Sharon, Ashley and I discuss:

1) Short Circuit Remake

2) 3D films and the new glasses

3) Halo hysteria and nonsense

4) Constructicons and Transformers 2 from a woman’s point of view

5) Do we have our new Magnum PI?

6) Final Borat Lawsuit finished

7) “Last Blood” Vampires vs Zombies. Brilliant!

All this and a few things more.


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32 thoughts on “The Movie Blog: Uncut – April 4th 2008

  1. I’m going to break the intellectual drabble here for some base, instinctual response. Mostly cause I just, today, had the opportunity to listen.

    Women into Vampire: TM are running neck-in-neck with those into vampires. Hooray for testosterone!

  2. Omar, I’m just not going to bother discussing this with you since you clearly aren’t familiar with the things I’ve said and questions I’ve already answered 1000 times about this whole Blomkamp issue.

    If you don’t know the difference between directing a Narrative and a commercial, and if you don’t know the difference between directing a feature and a short (not an impressive one either) then I don’t know how to help you.

  3. Excuse me. Didn’t Michael Bay start out this way? Didn’t Ridley Scott start out the same way? Len Wiseman? Fincher as well. What feature film had Fincher done before Seven? Had he delivered coffee? Did he have any business doing a feature film by that thinking? And what the hell does that have to do with anything? Real movie? What is a real movie? Big or small the process is the same on every film production, be it a commercial or a narrative film. And the short films have a narrative, just not a lead character who guides you through it.

    And Blomkamp has worked on feature films by the way.

    But of course we will have to wait and see how he’ll fare in the studio system. All the short films were his projects and that’s a whole different scenario than having a studio on your back. Will he be able to direct a good feature film? That remains to be seen but dismissing him outright because he hasn’t been part of a “real” movie is just ridiculous.

  4. Hey Omar,

    You clearly have no idea how to either read or listen. I’d suggest LISTENING to the person you’re trying to debate with before making yourself sound foolish.

    A) I have very clearly said for over a year now that Blomkamp has never worked on any REAL MOVIE in any capacity. Oh look… I’m 100% correct. He’s never been a director of a feature film, never been an assistant director, never been a cinematographer, never been a coffee boy. He’s never had a real job on ANY feature film in his life.

    B) I know he’s done short films. As I’ve ALREADY SAID 1000 times and in this very thread:

    “I’ve often said that I’m not impressed with a short film and a couple of commercials and thought they did nothing to point one way or another to his qualifications as a feature film director at this point.”

    All Blomkamp has shown is that he’s a good Visual Effects Artist. His short films have no Narrative and thus give no indication if he can direct a naritive or not.

    Really Omar, do your research before trying to argue with someone.

    There is a massive difference between being a visual effects artist, and being a feature film director.

  5. Also. Blomkamp is one of the main reasons they went out to make Transformers, he did the car commercials that showed that they could do this properly and realistically and his work was featured heavily in all the reference material for the film before they started shooting.

    This guy is a legend in the commercial world, just so you know.

  6. John. You obviously have NO IDEA who Blomkamp is if you say he has never directed before. You have obviously never seen the fantastic looking short films he’s done and the commercials he has made. There was a reason he was selected to direct Halo, he shoots fantastic looking film and is a genius when it comes to intergrade CGI in to live action.

    This kind of makes your argument pointless if you are ranting about someone who you know nothing about and just assumes that he’s no good because you’ve never heard of him before.
    Please, do a little research before you make statements like that.
    And you really should look at his work, it’s fucking amazing.

  7. Sorry Torim. Final Fantasy Advent Children sucked bigtime. It was the “Meet the Spartans” of the final fantasy franchise.

  8. Praise God for no Halo. I agree that the Halo movie went to hell in time and I, for one, only wanted to see it because of one special guy: Jackson. Besides that, if they make the movie, I would give a crap. Plus, John, I agree that Don is WRONG! Transformers was probably one of the best films of the summer, if not the best. With Peter Jackson, it kinda reminded me what you said about Cloverfield. Everyone was worked up because of 2 things: J.J. Abrams and to find out what the monster was. Even though I liked Cloverfield, it was kinda the same thing.

    Truthfully, I do agree that most video games, if not all, suck. But I heard a lot of people liked Silent Hill. And Resident Evil 3 was great even though I never played the game. But most of the people that like the movies are fans of the game. That’s why many users for film websites liked Hitman.

    Having said that, I think it would be kinda cool to make a movie based off of Fate.

  9. Final Fantasy looked like a CGI demo package. All the long shots of the female lead were just halarious.
    I bailed out of that film within the first 30 min.

    A Halo film would be cool. I don’t see any prob with using video games for story ideas. Its better than remakes and reboots. And I disagree that video games suck as films.
    Its really the other way around. Most video games that come out based on movies (jumper, Superman Xmen) all suuuuuuuuuuccccccckkkkkkk.

    I know Bungie/Microsoft has a lot to loose if they scewup the Halo film. So I would expect it to kick ass.

    I also didn’t like Transformers. Good VFX horrible story. I hope they do a better job on the next one but I’m not holding my breath.

  10. I LOVED Final Fantasy AC, spirits within sucked though. FF AC didn’t try to create itself into a completely different story, it continued on a story that was already wonderful and gave lovers of the game a little glimpse of post FF7. I think the director and his team did exactly what they set out to do, and thats make a fun movie that catered to the fans of the game.

  11. Wow, what a nostalgic show that was. Sharon was back, and John talked about Battlstar Gallactica, Magnum PI, Transformers and Halo. It took me back to last year.

    Very happy that Ashley seems to be becoming a regular. She brings another element to the show, She’s a bubbly, bouncing pixie.

  12. I personally don’t care about the “genre” at all. They could stop making video game movies tomorrow and I wouldn’t care.

    I just disagree with your theory that because a game is designed for game play and a film needs a narrative that thats why the films suck so far.

    I personally don’t think it matters where the idea comes from as long as you write a half decent story and attach a decent director you should have the problems that we see so far.
    I mean lets face it the calibre of director these movies attract is hardly stellar…Jan de bont….Paul WS Anderson….Uwe Boll.

    if you strip most blockbustery type popcorn films down to their basic premise most of them sound like video games anyway.

    If the studios are determined to make them into movies which they appear to be then they need to start doing it differently.

    thats why I think a lot of people were interested in Halo. again I don’t even like the game but here was a video game film with a huge budget, a well respected academy award winning A list director producing and then when they announced the director rather than announcing some obvious journey man like stephen sommers or a hack like jan de bont or renny harlin.guys who can gather footage and deliver a film but really have no soul or style they went with a completely untested, unheard of and untried director. and personally i found that a hell of a lot more interesting. with other guys we would have had an idea of what to expect but with a completely new guy we really would have had no idea.I kind of found it refreshing. Ultimately that became the films downfall I think but still it was a lot more of an interesting angle to take on a film that size.

  13. I’ll probably get stoned for saying this but I actually liked Final Fantasy. Some people didn’t but that was a perfectly fine animated movie that took the general tone of the games and created an original narrative from that premise.

    Everyone says how shit films like Super Mario and Street fighter were and cite them as the main examples of how video game movies never work but Final Fantasty never gets mentioned any more. People dont have the same riducule for it but don’t seem to bring it up. That film had some f**king awesome visuals. The trailer campaign with the semi photorealistic eye had ppl going nuts.

    I always wondered why it’s never spoken about.

  14. Hey Alfie,

    Once again, if you want to debate with me, please stick to stuff I ACTUALLY SAID. For example, you said:

    “I don’t see how my comments are proof that halo fans are blind”

    I never said YOUR COMMENTS. I said THIS ISSUE:

    “This whole issue just really highlights some Halo fans BLIND devotion to their favorite video game”

    You also said:

    “I guess I mistook your many criticisms of his work as hatred then”

    This is a great example of you taking liberties with what I actually say, and quote it back to me with your own colorful interpretation. When did I EVER say I “hated” his work???? I’ve often said that I’m not impressed with a short film and a couple of commercials and thought they did nothing to point one way or another to his qualifications as a feature film director at this point. Yet somehow you turn that into:

    “John’s hatred for Blomkamp”

    You also said:

    “If they can create twenty years of transformers legacy out of the paragraph long synopsis on the back of an action figures box in the early 80’s then I don’t see why making a half decent film from a game is so difficult”

    Well…. 16 bad video game movies in a row… generally made by professionals who have been making movies most of their lives and understand film making a lot more than you or I would suggest it must be difficult.

  15. well john I guess I mistook your many criticisms of his work as hatred then.

    I mean those halo ads he did…while I agree they were hardly earth shattering as some halo fans went on about but they were also nowhere near as terrible as you made out. and also I remember you talked about how bad you thought one of his other shorts was. Sorry I only remembered the continued criticism you made of his work so I figured you hated his stuff.

    and I don’t see how my comments are proof that halo fans are blind because I am not a halo fan. at all.. couldn’t give a shit to be honest. don’t play the game and find it boring as shit.

    My point here isn’t that Halo will be the video game film to finally break the curse of shitiness. My point is I don’t believe it is impossible to make a decent film out of a video game “premise”.

    If they can create twenty years of transformers legacy out of the paragraph long synopsis on the back of an action figures box in the early 80’s then I don’t see why making a half decent film from a game is so difficult.

  16. Hey Alfie,

    You said:

    “Its john’s hatred towards blomkamp or however its spelt that I have always found weird”

    You know what’s really frustrating? People trying to argue with you who make stuff up about things you NEVER said. I NEVER said I “hated” Blomkamp. As a matter of fact, I have said OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER again at least a dozen times that Blomkamp could end up being a great director, that I hope for great things for him….

    The issue has ALWAYS, and VERY CLEARLY been the brain dead decision to hire a guy (regardless of who it is) who has never worked on a real movie, in ANY capacity before in his life, to be the director of a $200 million tent pole project. He never directed, he never assistant directed, he was never a cinematographer, he never even delivered coffee on a real movie set in his life. All he did was a couple of short films with no narrative that just showed off his amazing visual effects talents. Period. The issue isn’t Blomkamp personally.

    This whole issue just really highlights some Halo fans BLIND devotion to their favorite video game, because if we were talking about ANY other movie with the same circumstances, no one would argue this point with me.

  17. John Campea: “I moved out to LA so i could be closer to the ‘movie scene’.”


    To that we all say BULLSHIT. You moved out to LA because you knew your life wold be filled with “Hot Chicks”. Damn you John Campea! We hear stories of John’s early visits where he stayed in a house of like 10 California hotties, then he hosts podcast with more hotties, and he even gets friendly with celebs and directors and gets their hottie scraps! Booooo! Too much for one Canadian i say!

    PS – John… Do you need an assistant? Manservant? Ward?

  18. Its john’s hatred towards blomkamp or however its spelt that I have always found weird. I get the whole video game movies sucks deal but the heaping of hate you have dumped down on the guy in the past is what I find puzzling. Fuck, I think good on him. He got selected to make Halo. That fell apart but now he is making some original film for sony pictures. fuck if I had the chance thrown my way I would take it as well. He hardly deserves the hatred he gets form this place. If no one knew who made those halo ads he directed I don’t believe anyone would be claiming they were the greatest ads ever and proof a halo movie would rule but I also do not believ, on the other side of that argument, that anyone would pick them out and go on about how horrible they were either. They were rather innocuous.

    But this whole video games can’t possibly ever lead to a decent film thing is both correct and wrong. It won;t happen iof they continue to make them the way they have been making them but if they took a different approach theres no reasons you couldn;t get a decent film from one of them. For any film, especially popcorn type films, all you need is a decent potentially action packed premise. Doesn’t matter where it comes from…whether its a comic, a book, a game whatever. All you need is a good premise.

    I mean sound designer dan just listed all the things transformers has behind it yet where did it initially come from. Like where did transformers and its mythology all come from?? A little paragraph blurb on the back of an action figure in the early eighties. The history of trasnformers whihc now spans over 20 years all comes from inanimate figures with a paragraph long narative.

    So if a decent story come from an action figure I don’t see why it cannot possibly come from a video game. Transformers works because it had a great premise…its a cool idea. and there are a lot of games with great ideas behind them….the general premise is fantastic.

    I mean….most bullshit blockbuster “popcorn” films have flimsier premises then a lot of games. Its what you do with that premise. the story you surround it with.

    Don’t get me wrong…I totally agree that every video game movie made is terrible. (except for street fighter but I love that for entirely different reasons to what the makers planned.)
    I don’t play Halo myself . Tried a few times and find it boring as fuck but I like the premise and at the end of the day thats all you need.

    But something holds all these video game movies back every single time and I believe it is more to do with the film makers behind the films considering it “slumming” then because of where the idea came from.

    I think that is why people were excited about Halo. For once a genuine A list director was going to be involved in the production with a great effects team behind it (both weta workshop and weta digital) so people thought maybe we might get a film a step above the usual crap the studios dish out in this genre.

    sorry for the long rant to sum up how I feel … forget whether a game has a strong narrative or story…it doesn’t matter. all you need is a premise. Take the premise of a game and flag the story the actual game tells if you want and make a whole new story from the premise….no stupid first person shooter gimmick like Doom tried…..treat the films a bit more seriously and there is absolutely no reason you couldn’t eventually make a decent film from one of these game.

    The word premise was used approximately three thousand four hundred and ninety two times in my above post. I apologize for its over use but I see it as the key word in whats wrong with game movies.

  19. I have personally very little Interest in Halo, but I mean, 10 monkeys at typewriters could come up with a better story/script/dialogue than TRANSFORMERS.

    That being said, Neil Blompfkamp’s (spelling?) short film displayed some pretty solid craftsmanship…

    “It was the best of time, it was the blurst of times!!” – stupid monkeys.

    As a fan of the show, the animated movie, and consumer of the toys back in the day, I never understood why people liked the TF movie beyond the sophisticated compositing work, and I”m sorry, special effects compositing is not enough for a movie folks….

  20. I agree with John here. Halo has only been a video game whereas Transformers has been an ’80s TV show, toys, blankets, etc. Halo has only one thing going for it: it was a video game. Video games never make great movies because they’re either too long or beneath all that blasting and killing, the story just plain sucks.

  21. Hey Don,

    You said:

    “Halo is awesome. Much better than transformers”

    Dude, you do realize that one is just a video game and one is a movie right? You just proved exactly what I was talking about. People assume that because they have a game they like…. somehow… magically, it automatically means it’ll be a good movie. How has that worked out so far?

    It’s like saying: “Halo is a great game, therefore the guys who made it would make awesome dentists!”

  22. I don’t understand your hatredness for halo.

    Also the script writer is the guy who wrote collateral, pirates movies and gears of war.

    He is 100 times better than the script writers of transformers.

    Also Niel Blokamp is an awesome dude and he is first doing a film for sony then he might jump on halo.

    Halo is awesome. Much better than transformers which was pretty good but nothing special.

  23. All three of those girls that are on the pictures up top are hot….wait, one of them is John Campea, never mind.

  24. I hate to say it but I saw a movie called Zombies vs Vampires and it was so bad I turned it off after 20 minutes. I looked like it was filmed on a camcorder and was on a shit budget. Just fucking awful. What I am really looking foward to is Strippers vs Zombies! What ever happened with that one?

  25. You know, Sharon could pass as Amy Adams’ sister in that pic.

    John, don’t feel bad about crying over Transformers. When I saw it in IMAX, that whole sequence where the Autobots descend to Earth put tears in my eyes. That music and seeing Optimus nice and huge on an IMAX screen was pretty overwhelming.

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